Shenila Khoja-Moolji: A different kind of girl power

Source: Africa is a Country

Shenila Khoja-Moolji: A different kind of girl powerIn recent years there has been a global convergence on the “girling of development”; in other words, girls’ empowerment and education as a way to address poverty. This includes corporate campaigns such as Nike’s Girl Effect and those by state aid organizations such as USAID’s Let Girls Learn. These campaigns promote understandings about girls’ empowerment that portray girls as individuated selves who can overcome structural difficulties – such as poverty and disease – if they only re-invent themselves by working hard, staying in school, delaying marriage and entering the workforce. This kind of “girl power” assumes an autonomous girl-subject who must rely on herself to improve her circumstances. This attention to the individual deflects attention from the role of the state, foreign policies, consumption patterns in the global North, as well as capitalist relations that exacerbate poverty in the global South. Poverty appears to be a personal problem rather than a political one.

Such storylines devolve into blaming local culture, families, and/or religious communities for the direct and structural violence that girls experience in the global South.

Read more – Dated; MAY 25, 2017

Shenila Khoja-MooljiShenila Khoja-Moolji is a Postdoctoral Scholar at University of Pennsylvania. She writes at New York Times, Huffpost, Washington Post…on International Development; Gender Studies; Youth Studies, and does Fieldwork in Pakistan and USA. Dr. Khoja-Moolji teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the fields of gender and sexuality studies, and education. @SKhojaMoolji

 

Previously on Ismailimail…

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, its achievements and humanitarian works.

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